FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Asian Power:Since 2012, 50 new coal-fired power plants have been proposed in Japan. However, an increasing number of these proposals have been taken off the table and the number of projects in the development pipeline has dropped to 35.Investor and financier support for the coal industry in Japan is draining away at an increasingly rapid rate, the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) said.“Japan has seen criticism of its pro-coal policies from within its own government, specifically from its environment and foreign ministers, and from its financial sector, too, where assessments against coal are increasingly being made by its banks and insurance companies,” said IEEFA energy finance analyst Simon Nicholas.A group of major international investors with a cumulative US$26t of assets under management has called for a phase-out of coal-fired power. About 288 investors signed the statement. Notably, some of the signatories like Nomura are part of the largest shareholders in coal company Marubeni.Japanese banks are also now indicating a change in their outlook toward coal—and the largest ones are coming under increasing opposition-campaign pressure as they are amongst the biggest funders of coal globally, the report noted.IEEFA cited Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group’s announcement that it may rethink its stance towards coal, which is a move “almost certain” to be followed eventually by major Japanese coal financiers Mizuho Financial Group and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group. In June 2018, Mizuho released a statement that recognized the need for action to tackle climate change and noted global concern about the role coal-fired power plays in carbon emissionsBefore Sumitomo Mitsui’s acknowledgement, in May 2018, Japan’s second-largest insurer, Dai-ichi Life Insurance, announced it would no longer provide financing for overseas coal-fired power projects.“This announcement was the first time a Japanese financial institution committed to restricting coal finance,” Nicholas said. “It was not the last.” Nippon Life Insurance, Japan’s largest insurer, announced in July 2018 that it will cease financing all coal-fired power stations in Japan and overseas.Moreover, Japan’s trading houses are beginning to recognize the risks associated with coal. Mitsubishi Corp. has moved to sell its stake in Australian thermal coal mines. Mitsui and Co. stated in 2017 that, due to environmental concerns, it had no plans to invest in new thermal coal mines. Sojitz Corp. is also planning to reduce its exposure to thermal coal.On a global scale, insurance giants like Allianz and Dai-Ichi are joining the likes of Zurich and Axa in dropping coal. This implies that about 10% of all insurance assets have already been shielded from coal. That figure could double by the end of 2018, Nicholas noted.“The initial effect will leave coal-fired power plants and coal mines seeking coverage from a smaller pool of insurers, and at a higher price,” he said. “With an increasing number of banks also refusing to finance coal, reaching financial close on any coal-fired power plants will get progressively more difficult.”Moving forward, public and private financiers in Japan are already moving into renewable energy, and more such activity is likely. Several years of strong domestic investment in solar PV—amounting to US$20-30b per year—have given Japanese technology firms and investors important expertise in the renewables sector.Consequently, Japanese companies are now taking this expertise overseas. Softbank is seeking to develop 20 GW of solar projects in India, whilst Japanese technology companies have also recently become active in Vietnam’s growing solar market. “Banks especially have been attracted to renewable energy infrastructure investments abroad based on their strong annuity yields backed by long-term PPAs from mostly highly-rated utilities,” Nicholas said.Japan can still answer to this as it is home to a number of companies that have the potential to become world leaders in renewable energy and the nation’s clean energy champions.IEEFA cited in the US state of Nevada. The company is planning to double automotive revenues by 2022 and is scaling up its battery manufacturing capacity globally.Softbank is also intending to pursue a “highly ambitious” project in Saudi Arabia involving the construction of 200 GW of solar power capacity. This continues the bank’s plans for a northeast Asia “supergrid” involving Japan, South Korea, China, Mongolia and Russia.More: Japanese financial firms are pulling out investments in coal Financial support for Japanese coal industry is dissipating
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renew Economy:The New South Wales Coalition government on Wednesday launched one of the most significant energy transition projects in Australia, with an Emerging Energy Program that is designed to help replace most of the state’s ageing coal plants with wind, solar and storage over the next 15 years.NSW is the only state in the National Electricity Market without a specific or aspirational renewable energy target. But in its recent Integrated System Plan, the Australian Energy Market Operator highlighted the fact that the state was facing the biggest transition, because most of its 10GW of coal-fired generators were getting to the end of their life. Within 15 years, AEMO predicts, 70 per cent of that coal capacity will be gone – and it expects this to be replaced by large-scale solar, large-scale wind, storage, and rooftop solar, with the share of gas and hydro little changed from today’s level.The NSW Emerging Energy Plan is designed to support the commercialisation of new large-scale projects in NSW that use emerging, dispatchable technology. It is offering up to $10 million per project, for a total of $55 million. But it is not the scale of the initiative that is significant, it is the acceptance that the energy transition is profound, rapid and unstoppable.“We are not seeking to accelerate the closure of coal-fired generators or delay their closure,” energy minister Don Harwin told RenewEconomy. “The transition is happening, this helps prepare us.”An emissions intensity cap of 0.5 tonnes of Co2-e has been placed on any projects. This effectively rules out coal – as the idea of “clean coal” is nothing but a marketing term. It may allow for some form of gas generation, but such projects may struggle to compete with the falling cost of wind and solar and storage. It specifically rules out upgrades and extensions of existing plant.“The NSW energy system is in transition,” the document says. “Our generation mix is changing, with more variable generation entering the system and older power stations scheduled for retirement.” It notes that more than 17GW, or $21 billion, of projects for wind, solar, gas and generator upgrades are seeking planning approval in the state. Harwin said most of this was wind and solar, and the cost reduction of these technologies was “staggering.”More: NSW launches emerging energy program to replace coal generation New South Wales government plans for end of coal generation
China dials back its appetite for Australian coal FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Hellenic Shipping News: China’s restrictions on Australian coal are expected to remain in place into next year as Beijing seeks to moderate a spike in foreign imports of the commodity to protect domestic supply.While there had been hopes in Canberra that the unofficial quota on Australian coal exports to China would be wound back shortly, analysts and traders in China said this week they expected the restrictions to remain in force for a while.Coal analysts also said there was evidence of intensifying curbs on imported coal, with the major southern Chinese ports of Guangzhou and Fuzhou banning the commodity this week. Both ports recorded a strong increase in imports this year.In comments published on their public social media account, analysts at consultancy Today Think Tank Energy said coal imports at those two ports had stopped this week and they expected further restrictions to apply.The analysts argued that foreign coal imports into China had been higher than expected this year, which meant there was still an incentive for Beijing to impose further restrictions to boost the domestic price.More: China to extend restrictions on Australian coal, say analysts
Analysts expect continued decline in European coal generation in 2020 FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg:European coal faces another depressing year as natural gas floods the region and clean-energy policies reduce demand for the dirtiest fossil fuel.Coal use across seven European economies fell to historic lows last year, pushing benchmark rates down by almost a third to $62 a ton. The prospects for 2020 are looking equally bleak, with analysts from S&P Global Platts and Capital Economics predicting prices plunging to the $50 mark, the lowest in four years.It’s the latest indication that the economics for burning coal have collapsed in little more than a year since the commodity hit $100 a ton. Europe’s goal of zeroing out carbon emissions by the middle of the century along with ever-cheaper wind and solar power and falling gas prices all point to drastic reductions for generators that burn coal.“Although we saw coal generation pushed to minimum levels in the second half of 2019, it should fall again year-on-year in the first half of 2020 due to low gas and stable carbon pricing,” said Joe Aldina, S&P Global Platts’ head of coal analytics.For most of last decade it was more profitable to burn coal than gas in Germany, Europe’s biggest economy. That relationship was turned on its head last year as imports of liquefied natural gas and mild weather pushed down prices for the cleaner fuel, encouraging utilities to switch away from coal.The gas glut may worsen after last month’s deal between Russia and Ukraine to keep gas flowing to Europe. Construction of another direct route to Europe, the Nord Stream 2 pipeline to Germany, is expected to finish this year even though the U.S. imposed sanctions on the project.[Jeremy Hodges]More: Coal’s fortunes look bleak
Water, water, everywhere: Laurel Highlands is an oasis of falls and cascades.Imagine wild rivers full of rapids and healthy trout, scenic mountaintops, and miles of singletrack through hardwood forests. Imagine that place lies just 45 minutes from the city suburbs. Now, imagine that city is Pittsburgh.What you are imagining in your mind’s eye is actually the Laurel Highlands area of southwestern Pennsylvania. The Laurel Highlands is centered around Laurel Hill and Chestnut Ridge of the Allegheny Mountains, topping out at 3,213 feet at the summit of Mount Davis, the state’s highest. In the winter, outdoor enthusiasts flock to Seven Springs Resort and its award-winning terrain parks, making it one of the most visited ski resorts in the Mid-Atlantic. The summer identity of the Laurel Highlands has long been defined by the wild Youghiogheny River, known as the Yough (pronounced “Yock”) to locals, that runs through its heart, but that is slowly beginning to change. Although the Youghiogheny is still a major draw to the area, people are beginning to realize the potential for much more, according to former U.S. National Whitewater team member Eric Martin, owner of Wilderness Voyageurs, an outfitter in Ohiopyle.“This is the epicenter for whitewater. The fishing and mountain biking are the things we are not super well known for, but people are beginning to figure it out,” he said.Martin’s parents started Wilderness Voyageurs in the 1960s, when commercial rafting was in its infancy. Now the area sees over 100,000 river runners a summer, with most of those coming from nearby metropolises.“Laurel Highlands is incredibly rural, dotted with small little towns and farms, essentially. We’re relatively undiscovered. The Laurel Highlands is right in the middle of everything; Cleveland, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C. are all three hours away.”Whether it’s hiking in Ohiopyle State Park and Forbes State Forest or cycling the gentle grades of the Great Allegheny Passage, there is something for everyone.“You’ve got the river. You’ve got the Great Allegheny Passage, the rail to trail which goes from Pittsburgh to Cumberland, Maryland, going right through the center of Ohiopyle State Park,” Martin said. “We also have 40 miles of mountain bike trails. The mountain biking is sort of the hidden gem here that folks are starting to clue in on.”Tebolt TrailMartin recommends the Tebolt Trail inside the Quebec Run Wild Area just south of Ohiopyle as a hidden gem of the Laurel Highlands. Trails crisscross the area, but Martin says that lung-busting climbs are the norm.“There is a fair amount of uphill. The river literally runs right through the middle of the park, so you’ve got a giant river gorge,” says Martin. It’s a 1,700-foot climb, to the top of the park, one of the longest climbs in the state. “But then there are some trails up on top of the mountain where you don’t have to do any monster climbs, but they are trying to limit it,” Martin adds.The YoughWhile hiking and mountain biking are gaining a foothold in the Laurel Highlands, the king of the outdoors is still the Youghiogheny and its pristine whitewater.“The Youghiogheny runs right through the middle of Ohiopyle and is the take-out for one section and the put in for another section of the river,” said Martin. “The Lower Yough is Class III and you can run that every day of the year. The Class V we run is the upper Yough, just over the boarder in Maryland. As far as kayakers go, there is plenty of Class V creeking right here within 10 or 15 miles.”One particular feature of the Youghiogheny puts the river on the map; a matter of convenience even a non-paddler can appreciate.“The Loop is a mile and half stretch of the Lower Youghiogheny. The river does a giant bend, so you can paddle a mile and a half of Class III whitewater, and then walk less than 600 yards back to your car,” Martin says.Trophy TroutWith all that water coming through, the area is also becoming a destination for fly fishermen searching for large trout. Pennsylvania is known worldwide for its smaller spring creeks and mayfly hatches, but the Youghiogheny holds its own as a trout fishery and has almost fully recovered from a 1993 acid spill.“The Yough is a dam release river coming out of the Youghiogheny Dam, so the maximum water temperature is 65 degrees in the middle of the summer,” explains Martin. “It’s a tailwater, bottom release, so it’s a good habitat for trout. There are nine miles of the Yough that is considered trophy trout waters.”
Ski season is in full swing here on the East Coast with a cold front providing great temps for snow making and even the possibility of a little natural white stuff coming down later this week. Skiing and snowboarding is great really great, but there are significant hurdles to overcome to get on the slopes. One of the biggest being the price of admission. Lift tickets don’t come cheap, and then you have to buy or rent equipment, have the proper apparel, etc. The price tag can roll up pretty quickly. If you go skiing a lot, or even just once or twice every winter, it pays to have a set of your own gear. Boots fit snugger, skis stay sharper, and one is just way more comfortable on the slopes riding their own boards. Plus, if you aren’t out there every day, a solid set of boots and boards will last you a good long while, decades even with the way they make stuff these days. But that’s a big investment and you want to make the right decisions for your skill level, aggression, terrain, etc.So, how do you do it?You go to Snowshoe Mountain Resort Demo Days. Snowshoe will host the biggest names in the snowsports industry this weekend to provide free demos of their latest and greatest gear. Techs will be on hand to custom fit you, make suggestions on what you should be looking for, and helping you get into some new gear. If you are looking for a new set of skis or a new snowboard, or are just trying to get an idea of what you should be looking for in the equipment you use, don’t miss this opportunity to pick the brains of the guys and gals that know everything there is to know about skis, boards, boots, and bindings. This is also a great chance to do some holiday shopping reconnoissance for that special shredder in your life.Demo Days will be happening on Saturday and Sunday, December 14-15, and all you need to participate is a photo ID and a regular lift ticket. If you are an experienced skier looking to step up your game or a novice just seeing what’s out there, this event is not to be missed.See you on the slopes!
Man on a MissionThrough the heart of Columbia flows the Saluda River—a class II-IV run that’s one of the only whitewater rivers in South Carolina. A small, tight-knit community of boaters gather here, among them Jay Alley, founder of Canoeing for Kids.Born and raised on the banks of the Saluda, Alley began canoeing at a young age. The son of a pastor, Alley always had a natural affinity for all things water.“I was born a water bug,” he says.Alley started his own construction business at the ripe age of 19. “I’d work like crazy, then between projects I’d take off and go,” he says. Despite his cross-country ramblings, Alley felt there was something more he should be doing with his life.“My business was going well but I did not feel content in my soul at all,” he says. “I was really searching for what was God’s purpose for my life.”One day that purpose came to Alley as he was paddling on the Saluda. He had been volunteering with disadvantaged children, something he was not only good at but also enjoyed immensely. When he looked down at his kayak, he suddenly realized that paddling, too, fulfilled those same criteria.“I remember thinking, ‘there has to be a way I can introduce kids to boating and through boating introduce them to nature,’” Alley says.Thus, the idea for Canoeing For Kids was born. Alley knew that if he wanted to get his non-profit running, he would need funding. He began planning a 2,000-mile paddling trip that would take him from New York to New Orleans via a system of connecting rivers and watersheds. Alley kept his scheming to himself for close to a year before filling in his family on the project.“Even once I announced it, I wasn’t dead set on completing it,” Alley says, “but things happened along the way that proved to me it was something I was supposed to do.”While planning the trip, Alley put in a call to what he thought was the Chamber of Commerce in search of a map for the Allegheny River. The number turned out to be the landline of an elderly gentleman, a local who had lived by the Allegheny his entire life. The two spoke for almost an hour, and within a couple weeks, Alley received a package with maps of the river and handwritten notes about spots to avoid and places to camp.“I basically dialed the wrong number, but it was obviously the right number,” Alley says.For Alley and his 2000-mile trip, those affirmations would keep coming. Only five weeks from his departure date, Alley was struck by lightning on the banks of the Saluda. He and his friend had been out paddling that day, training for the months ahead, when a storm caused them to pull off and take cover. The two found an old tractor tire and, had Alley not been perched upon the rubber remains, it’s likely that the lightning strike would have been fatal. Alley’s partner was unscathed and was able to drag him to a house nearby, the resident of which just so happened to be a registered nurse. Many interpreted the event as a sign that Alley shouldn’t go, but he had quite a different opinion.“It was a blessing,” Alley says. “That lightning strike was the best thing that ever happened to me because it got the trip more publicity than all the other things I’d tried doing. All of a sudden I was that guy who got struck by lighting.”After three days in the hospital and weeks of physical therapy, Alley and his crew left on August 14, 1993, for New York. Over the next eight weeks, friends and family from home met Alley along the way and swapped duties. One person was always in the canoe with Alley while at least two were in a support van driving to the nearest towns, notifying local media outlets, and helping resupply. From extreme hot and cold temperatures to a tornado, gusty winds, and a flooded Mississippi River, Alley and his team endured the elements and pressed on, cranking out at least 40 miles per day. Finally, on October 10th, the crew arrived in New Orleans to a party of family, friends, and supporters awaiting them on the riverbanks.“Oddly enough, I was disappointed,” Alley says. “I had been working and dreaming toward this destination for years, thinking it was going to be a pinnacle. We fell short of our fundraising goal, but I realized in time that it was really the starting line of everything.”In the spring of 1994, Canoeing For Kids ran its first full season of trips, putting over 200 disadvantaged kids on the water in one season by borrowing boats from a local outfitter. Since then, the organization helps get an average of 1,500 kids on the river every year free of charge. With its own headquarters built by Alley himself and an entire fleet of canoes, kayaks, standup paddleboards, and rafts, Canoeing For Kids has grown to an operational level that Alley could never have envisioned as he stood on the banks of the Mississippi all those years ago.“We’ve had over 20,000 kids come here in 20 years,” Alley says, “but I’ve never had one story in particular where I’ve changed someone’s life. It’s more about how they have changed my life.”
Country music is as American as baseball and apple pie.Is it wrong, then, to look north to Canada for country music’s next great female voice?I hope not, because Whitney Rose, whose second record, Heartbreaker of The Year, which releases on August 21st, is ready to lay claim to that mantle.Rose’s new record, produced by Raul Malo, front man for longtime country stalwarts The Mavericks, was recorded in just four days and has been described by the singer as both a little weird and quirky while remaining rooted in classic country influences.Trail Mix happily included “Little Piece of You” this month and is thrilled to offer up the premiere of “Ain’t It Wise.”“‘Ain’t It Wise’ is about love, but I wouldn’t really call it a love song,” says Rose. “It’s all about the complication that comes with finding love and how difficult it can be to maintain. Love is a universal feeling that most people have felt in one way or another, so it should be simple. Just love someone. But it sure as hell isn’t that easy.So, here it is, folks. Enjoy!Whitney Rose will be in Hamilton, Canada, at the Festival of Friends on Sunday, August 9th. September finds Whitney back in the Southeast, with dates in Tennessee, North Carolina, and Virginia.For more information on Whitney Rose, the new record, or when she might be on a stage near you, please check out her website. And if you dug “Ain’t It Wise,” make sure you check out “Little Piece of You” on this month’s Trail Mix.Photo by Jen Squires.
Dying Star The Suitcase Junket Cry Cry Grant Lee Phillips 3:00 Come Alive The Hip Abduction That’s Why The Cave Singers Copy and paste this code to your site to embed. Pretty Woman Frank Solivan 3:31 4:42 4:13 Out of the Blue Brett Harris 5:04 4:23 Working Reward The Haymarket Squares Piedmont Sky Caleb Caudle Lonesome City The Black Canyon Gang 3:11 3:52 4:23 Echoes of A Whole Tim McNary 4:19 3:45 Red Road Trevor Green Sleepy Hollow The Pines Pining Parker Millsap 4:14 Audio PlayerThe Suitcase JunketDying StarUse Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.00:000:00 / 3:11 Midnight Ghost Dead Winter Carpenters You Found A Way To Rescue Me Johnny Boyd 3:35 2:45 Oh, hallelujah!Like so many contemporary Americana singers, Parker Millsap, our featured artist on this March edition of Trail Mix, got his start in church. The Oklahoma singer, whose work is tinged with strains of folk, gospel, and blues, grew up singing hymns in his family’s Pentencostal congregation.Such Sunday practice certainly paid dividends, as Millsap brings a soul and passion to his craft that is rarely found outside a Southern church. Check out “Pining,” fresh from his brand new record, The Very Last Day, on this month’s mix.A particularly interesting tune on this month’s mix comes from The Black Canyon Gang, a group – prior to a couple weeks ago – that I had never heard of. Their song, “Lonesome City,” is a part of the soon to be released Wayfaring Strangers:Cosmic American Music, a collection of nineteen vintage country songs recorded between 1968 and 1980 that, prior to today, really never saw the light of day. Each song on this record comes from a band with an incredible story; groups of friends who just got together to make music and bands who had big dreams but flopped, were swindled and scammed or outright ignored.Few voices have been as poignant as those of Lucinda Williams, who is featured this month in our magazine, and Grant Lee Phillips, long time front man for Grant Lee Buffalo, in Americana music over the last few decades. Trail Mix is happy to include tunes from these two iconic singers.Brand new songs from The Cave Singers, Judah & The Lion, Allen Stone, The Suitcase Junket, Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen, and Eli West highlight one of the deepest and most eclectic mixes we have been lucky enough to feature.Also featured this month are new tracks from Johnny Boyd, The Haymarket Squares, Trevor Green, Tim McNary, Dead Winter Carpenters, Carter Tanton, and Brett Harris.Simply too much great stuff bundled up into the mix this month!Be sure to stay tuned to the Trail Mix blog, too. On tap are chats with Caleb Caudle, The Hip Abduction, and The Pines.And, as always, make sure to go out and purchase some of these records or seek out these great bands when they come to a stage in, or near, your town. Thank them for sharing their music with us on Trail Mix. 4:23 3:16 Embed 6:22 Perfect World Allen Stone Take It All Back Judah & the Lion 3:14 Dust Lucinda Williams Rainbow Midst Life’s Willows Eli West 4:09 3:17 Twenty-Nine Palms Carter Tanton
Home, sweet home.For those of us who have are far removed – by both time and distance – from the cities of our births, returning home can be just a far flung romantic notion.But not for Chelle Rose, a noted singer/songwriter and native of Lenoir City, Tennessee. Rose, whose latest record, aptly titled Blue Ridge Blood, releases on Friday, recently bought the family homestead and relocated back to Lenoir City, after two decades in Nashville.Rose’s physical return to the Blue Ridge is but an echo of her music, which has never strayed far from her mountain upbringing. Resonating in Rose’s catalog of fringe country is the hardscrabble grit and gravel of life in the Appalachians.This month, Trail Mix features a Chelle Rose double dip: “Paintsville Table” is featured on the regular mix, and this very blog post includes the premiere of the the brand new track “Dammit Darlin.”I had the chance to catch up with Chelle Rose to chat about coming home, leaving Nashville, and our premiere of “Dammit Darlin.”BRO – Some folks talk about going home, but you really did it, having purchased your childhood home. What prompted the move and the purchase?CR – Nanahally River, Ghost of Browder Holler, and Blue Ridge Blood all center around East Tennessee and Western North Carolina. It seems that the pull of the muse finally got me. Whether it’s the songs or the books, I feel myself falling deeper in love with writing. When I think about it, my writing reminds me that I never really left. This land has been in our family since 1919. We saved it from most likely being flattened and made into a parking lot, so preservation played a part in my decision as well.BRO – Any trepidation with the move?CR – We’re more excited than anything else. My son is 25 minutes away at the University of Tennessee and my daughter is loving sixth grade and making new friends. It is also wonderful to be close to my family and friends after twenty years in Nashville. My team and band are spread out from Los Angeles to Austin to Nashville, and I’ll still have my home in Nashville for a while, as well as a rehearsal space for the band.BRO – We are premiering “Dammit Darlin” on this week’s blog post. What’s the story behind the song?CR – It’s a Tennessee girl’s pinin’ for a blue-eyed mountain boy who was pinin’ for black-hearted girl from Ohio. He designed the ink on her right ankle . . . “drew your crown around my rose.” Made her jewelry from her favorite crystals but then went back to Miss Ohio, who pawned his heart, along with his ruby ring, like everybody knew she would.BRO – In no particular order, list three things you’ll miss the most about Nashville.CR – I keep trying to answer this question. But it is a stretch. I won’t miss Nashville. This is the best thing.BRO – In five words or less . . . or more, if you need it . . . finish this sentence: “Lenoir City is home because . . . . “CR – Home is where my loved ones are.And here it is. The premiere of the brand new track, “Dammit Darlin,” from Chelle Rose’s new record, Blue Ridge Blood.Chelle Rose’s tour calendar is relatively quiet right now. For more information on her tour schedule or to find out how you can grab a copy of Blue Ridge Blood, please check out her website.Also, if you dug the premiere of “Dammit Darlin,” be sure to listen to “Paintsville Table” on this month’s Trail Mix.